Word on the street is there’s a new Starbucks in downtown. Late last month, the Seattle-based coffeehouse chain opened a downtown Baton Rouge store on the corner of Third Street below the Courtyard by Marriot.
While some coffee lovers are rejoicing, other residents are still trying to wrap their heads around the difference between a grande and a venti drink. Just mentioning the word “Starbucks” sparked a lively conversation at the 225 offices. Our team is a mixture of gold card-status Starbucks aficionados and people who still get intimidated over what to order—and how to order—when they get to the front of the line.
We’re here to help. We ventured to the newest Starbucks in search of answers for some of your most frequently asked questions.
About those drink sizes
Small, medium or large? Sorry, not at Starbucks. According to the Starbucks website, the former CEO and chairman Howard Schultz was inspired after a trip to Italy in the ‘80s and wanted to incorporate Italian coffeehouse traditions in his own coffeeshop. Fast forward to today, Italian words like macchiato, americano and cappuccino can be found throughout the Starbucks menu. The Italian influence also applies to the drink sizes—or at least some of them.
Here’s a size key for the next time you’re placing your order:
Short (8 ounces): Extra Small
Tall (12 ounces): Small
Grande (16 ounces): Medium
Venti (20 ounces): Hot Large
Venti (24 ounces): Iced Large
Trenta (31 ounces): Iced Extra Large
The Trenta is only available for Teavana Shaken Iced Tea, Teavana Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade, iced coffee, cold brew and Starbucks Refreshers.
With the Starbucks app, you can skip the line by ordering from your phone and picking it up from the counter. If you’d rather order in-person but still want to pay through the app, you can do that too. It also includes options to buy Starbucks gift cards for friends, find Starbucks locations and review previous purchases. It’s all key to collecting those coveted rewards—more on that below.
All about rewards
You know you’re an official Starbucks-goer when you receive your gold card. (Yes, there are levels to this.) Anytime you get a Starbucks gift card or use the app to make purchases, you’re eligible to earn Starbucks rewards.
Here’s how it works: Once you register for Starbucks rewards, you start on the green level. At the green level, members get perks like a free drink on your birthday and free in-store refills of hot or iced brewed coffee or tea. For every $1 spent at Starbucks, you receive two stars. Once you reach 300 stars, you move up to gold level and get your official personalized gold card. Rewards at gold level include all of the benefits at green level plus a free drink every 125 stars and monthly double-star days. More excuses to buy coffee, right?
If you’re new to Starbucks, you may wonder why such a large coffee chain has such a small menu behind the counter. Starbucks’ full menu is actually loaded with more than 200 drink options. Because their drinks change seasonly, Starbucks uses the physical in-store menu to showcases seasonal options. You can use the app—or tips from your local barista—to order off the full menu.
Tips and tricks
The Secret Menu: Once you become a Starbucks pro, you can get creative and start ordering drinks off the “secret menu.” Bloggers, writers and coffee fanatics have online lists of off-the-menu drinks to try, such as the Christmas Cookie Frappuccino and Raspberry Caramel Macchiato. These drinks are combinations of ingredients that customers have tried to make their own custom drink.
Reuse and Recycle: To encourage its customers to be more environmentally friendly, Starbucks offers a 10-cent discount every time you bring in a tumbler for your Starbucks drink.
Starbucks locations in Baton Rouge: Albertsons, College Drive, Corporate Boulevard, Mall of Louisiana, O’Neal Lane, Perkins Rowe, Sherwood Forest Boulevard and the new downtown location.
Have any other Starbucks tips or tricks? Share them with us in the comments.